Economy & Business

Business news

Is Wells Fargo digging itself into a PR hole?

Sep 21, 2016
Lane Wallace

Wells Fargo is neck-deep in a scandal over fraudulent accounts: Over several years, thousands of Wells Fargo employees opened millions of accounts in customers’ names, without their permission. That was a response to a push for branch workers to meet stringent sales goals, signing up each customer for multiple accounts in a move known as cross-selling.

In addition to choosing our next president and some members of Congress this fall, voters in many areas of the country may be able to vote for new trains and buses.

In several cities, counties and regions, the Nov. 8 ballots will include measures asking voters to pay more taxes to fund transit projects. From Atlanta to Seattle, Detroit to Los Angeles, there are close to $200 billion in transit and infrastructure improvements at stake.

What's behind the growing black-white pay gap

Sep 21, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Economic Policy Institute has released a new study on the growing pay gap between white and African-American workers.

Right now, African-American men make 22 percent less than their white peers. African-American women make 34 percent less.

The study looks at wages from 1979 to 2015. It reaches some surprising conclusions. For example, among African-Americans with a degree:

Comcast to become a wireless carrier in 2017

Sep 21, 2016
Adam Allington

Comcast sells us cable TV, it sells us internet, it will hook you up with a landline if that’s how you roll. But the one thing Comcast doesn’t sell us is wireless. Peter Csathy of Creatv Media said in a cable-cutting world of smartphones and tablets, that is where the growth is.

“Certainly for the millennials, who, as you look around, they’re all looking down at their phones,” he said. “So Comcast realizes this is where it needs to spend more of its energy.”

How do you define the American dream? Ikea wants to know

Sep 21, 2016
David Brancaccio

Businesses conduct market research all the time, hoping to measure what people are buying or want to buy. Ikea is looking into something a bit more abstract: the American dream. According to their research, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Americans care more about quality of life than accumulating possessions, and the American dream is more about experiences than owning things. 

Lars Petersson, president of Ikea U.S., joined us to explain how a company built on selling stuff can grow in spite of this perception. 


On today's show, we'll talk about the news that Japan's central bank wants to keep its interest rates near zero — its first long-term target. We'll also chat with Ikea's U.S. president, Lars Petersson, about research that found Americans care more about quality of life than owning things. He shares what this means for a company whose goal it is to sell material goods.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the Transportation Department's push to formalize data sharing on autonomous vehicles between companies and the government; scientists' collection of gene data from residents living in Sardinia, Italy — a region with a high life expectancy; and the possibility that the European Union may investigate some U.S. companies, like it did with Apple, over unpaid taxes. 

Tony Gonzalez

In a few ways, the McMillin Court in Nashville, Tenn.  looks like a vintage motel.  It is yellow-and-gray, two stories tall, and in the shape of a horseshoe. All 16 units have their own doors to the outside.

The kicker is the neon sign in blue and yellow. It even touts “no vacancy,” although that’s kind of a joke. Since these are former apartments, there’s no front desk to inquire about a room. Guests like Luke Graham, of London, England, book online.

The U.S. government wants to help you take your hands off the wheel.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which outlines how manufacturers and developers can ensure safe design of driverless vehicles, tells states what responsibilities they will have and points out potential new tools for ensuring safety.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Saudi Arabia is such an influential player in the oil industry that any action it takes — or is rumored to take — can sway global markets. So it's not surprising there's a lot of speculation about whether its massive state oil company, Saudi Aramco, is trying to buy a refinery in Texas.

As the number of people covered by high-deductible health plans soars, some insurers and employers are easing the strain on consumers' wallets by covering certain benefits like doctor visits or generic drugs before people have reached their plan's deductible.

But there's a hitch: Under Internal Revenue Service rules, high-deductible plans that can link to health savings accounts can only cover preventive services, such as vaccinations and mammograms, until patients buy enough services on their own to pay down their deductible.

Facing off with the CEO whose massive bank appropriated customers' information to create millions of bogus accounts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had sharp questions Tuesday for Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf. She said Stumpf made millions of dollars in the "scam," telling him, "You should resign ... and you should be criminally investigated."